Hey there, dearie. Time for another installment of your friendly neighborhood granny’s guide. This time, we’re talkin’ sprouts. Not the ones from Brussels. No ma’am. We’re talking the kind you grow in a jar: lentils, beans, alfalfa. The kind you can eat by the handful with little to no work on your part. Now let’s get started.
Like I said, you can basically sprout any veggie that’ll do it. Broccoli. Mung beans. Garbanzo beans. Lettuces. Basically anything that makes a tasty full-grown plant will make a tasty sprout (within reason – you can’t sprout an apple tree, for example).
To start, you need a good quality organic seed. You can sometimes find alfalfa seeds at your friendly neighborhood natural foods store. Or, order high-quality seeds from an organic seed supplier. To sprout ’em up, you just need a clean Mason jar with canning ring and a square of muslin or other loose-weave cloth.
First, soak your chosen seed in the sterilized jar (just boil it before you use it). This moves the seeds from dormancy to ready-for-action. Mix your seeds with two-to-three times as much water as seeds. The seeds will absorb the water as they soak. Let ’em do it for 10 to 12 hours. Enough that the seeds look engorged and glistening. Oh yeah.
Now, pour off any remaining water and sift out any floating seeds (they won’t sprout, the duds). Make sure you get all standing water out of the jar.
Then, shake the seeds down into the jar so they’re not all lumped together. You might need a wooden spoon or something like that to spread them around along the sides and bottom. What you want is for the air to circulate evenly throughout the jar.
Put the square of muslin or other cloth over the top of the jar and screw on the ring. Set in a warm, light-filled place (kitchen windows are great for this, as long as they’re not too cold, though you don’t need natural light for it to work).
Every day, rinse your seeds in cool, but not cold, water and drain them completely. I like to spray the sink sprayer through the muslin into the jar and swish around and around. Then, carefully drain through the cloth and spread them out throughout the jar again.
After a couple days, tiny sprouts will begin pushing through the seed hulls. You’re doin’ it!
Keep the rinsing and washing and draining going until they’re big and fluffy and sprout-like (about a week). Then, take your sprouts out of the jar, allow to thoroughly dry on a dishcloth or paper towel, and store in the refrigerator for salads, sandwiches or just munchin’ like the sexy filly you are.